Connecticut Audbon Society

News Release: Connecticut Audubon Members Elect Pamela Fraser, Ph.D., as New Chair of the Board

Outgoing Board Chair Kathleen Van Der Aue, left, with the Board’s new chair, Pamela Fraser. Photo copyright Tomas Koeck.

At Annual Meeting, Members Also Elected Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer, and Four New Members

October 17, 2022 — Members of the Connecticut Audubon Society elected Easton resident Pamela Fraser, Ph.D., as the new chair of the Board of Directors, at its Annual Meeting on Saturday, October 15, in Sherman.

Fraser succeeds Kathleen Van Der Aue as chair and will serve a 3-year term. Formerly vice chair, Fraser has served on the Board since 2018 and brings decades of experience as a leader in science education, curriculum development, and gender and cultural equity in science to her new role. 

The meeting was held under the bright sunshine and near-cloudless skies in a field at Deer Pond Farm, Connecticut Audubon’s 850-acre preserve in Sherman. More than 110 members and others attended. In addition to Fraser, they also elected Sarah Middeleer of Newtown as vice chair and Gilles Carter of New Haven as secretary, and re-elected Harshad Kuntey of Glastonbury as treasurer.

Newly-elected to the Board were Robert Lamothe of Hamden, Andrew Holmes of Brooklyn, N.Y., Elizabeth Ramsey of Fairfield and New York, and Kevin B. Ramsey, of Fairfield and New York.

Kathleen Van Der Aue, who was elected chair in 2018, becomes chair emeritus. She noted on Saturday that 2023 will mark the 125th anniversary of Connecticut Audubon’s founding, in Fairfield, by Mabel Osgood Wright.

She praised Dr. Fraser for her dedication to the organization and referred to the close friendship the two have developed while leading the Board.

“Pam is the perfect person to replace me,” she said. 

Patrick Comins, Connecticut Audubon’s executive director, said the organization was thrilled to welcome Pam as chair. “She has an extraordinary breadth of knowledge and experience in the field of science and education,” he said. “I know we will benefit from her insights and ideas as we collaborate to accomplish even more in 2023 and beyond.”

Dr. Fraser graduated from the University of the West Indies with a BSc in Botany, Zoology, and Chemistry and is Professor Emerita, Science Education, at New York University. She is recognized both nationally and internationally for her expertise in the development, implementation, and evaluation of STEM curricula.

Kathleen Van Der Aue displays a photo of Piping Plovers presnted to her as a thank you for her years of leadership. Photo by Gilles Carter.

In her first remarks to the members as chair, she told the members, “I hope to use all that I learned from Kathy to continue the remarkable work she has done as chair. My team, comprising Sarah Middeleer, Gilles Carter and Harshad Kuntey, with your help and support, will do our best to continue and expand on the work agenda started by Kathy.”

She presented Van Der Aue with a framed photo of a mother and chick Piping Plover, taken by Patrick Comins at the Milford Point Coastal Center.

“Her leadership is testimony to the reality that helping birds requires a strong organization with a broad and diverse membership,” Dr. Fraser said. “She guided Connecticut Audubon through the Covid 19 shutdown. The organization emerged in better shape because of her leadership.

“Thank you, Kathy. We could not have done it without you. Your philosophy can best be summed up in Connecticut Audubon’s official vision statement, recently revised under your  direction as part of our strategic plan: We envision that our efforts will lead to a future where all can share and experience the joys of nature and understand the importance of environmental preservation.”






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